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Here is some additional information on this unit in English:

ECoS is not just another Digital Central Unit on the market: ECoS is the first stepping stone to a comprehensive Control System, which, with new concepts, will address the subject of model railroad control systems, and revolutionize it. Never was it simpler to run a model railroad.

Right away an important message for all the Pro's: In spite of the entire new innovations we made ECoS compatible with all already existing systems: You can continue to use your present equipment. Now. Promised.

Discover the fascinating possibilities of the ECoS Central-Station on the following pages. But take heed: ECoS performance is so good, that even we had to reread a few passages, to believe it...

ECoS Features

The ECoS Central Unit is the first Digital Command Station with our name. With ECoS we want to continue consequently in the same direction we started out with more than seven years ago with our Digital decoders. You may rightly expect more from an ESU-Digital Command Station from the house of ESU.

From the beginning we wanted to be open to, and compatible with, present systems and norms. Just as the first LokSound decoder was a Multi protocol decoder, ECoS is also enormously flexible:

As a Multi protocol Central Unit, ECoS supports the formats DCC, Märklin®-Motorola® and Selectrix®, which means you can continue to use nearly all of your present loco decoders.

With ECoS you can run locos: Via two integrated Cabs with large, easy-grasp motor driven (!) throttle knobs and eight precise click-function keys you control your locos. In combination with the touch screen, you can control up to 20 functions per engine.

With ECoS you can switch turnouts and magneticdriven accessories: Via a large, graphic switchboard you have access to up to 1420 turnouts (DCC or Motorola® format).

With ECoS you can lay out, and control routes: Simply put turnouts and magnetic accessories graphically in groups and switch them together. Routes will be activated either by s88 occupancy detectors or by key. With ECoS you can operate shuttle trains real easy: Put a s88 rail contact at both ends of the track, and ECoS will do the rest.

The ECoS built-in booster has so much power that in most cases you don't need additional ones.

ECoS supports EcoSlink, a high speed system bus, based on CAN that transmits data instantaneously to the command station.

With ECoS, it's as simple as never before to program your decoders: The large, background-illuminated LCD screen offers good contrast and displays a lot of information in unabbreviated text. A programming track establishes contact with your decoders. With ECoS, the new NMRA DCC Duplex Communication is already built-in: As soon as the norm will be made official, you will, in connection with appropriate decoders, discover undreamt-of possibilities.

ECoS is compatible. Besides Selectrix® and Märklin®- Motorola®, ECoS speaks all variants of the DCC-Norm. With the integrated Analog Controllers (Joysticks) you can even control the whistle of LocoSound decoders as precise as never before.

ECoS is expandable. Each ECoS Central Unit sports a network port for connection with a computer. Thus you can update software, or use a computer for operation.

Who ECoS needs:

ECoS is basically the central station for all. Beginners, who are looking for a simple-to-operate Cab, will be at home right away: The large, graphic touch screen display shows all information in plain text; in case of doubt use the integrated help function. Never was it easier to switch to digital control. And ECoS runs DC or AC driven trains.

Even model railroaders, who own already a digital command station, should step up to ECoS: Next to the extreme simple inputs, and the possibilities for routeand shuttle train programming, you will learn to appreciate the manifold programming features for decoders. You can connect your present equipment to the input of EcoSniffer, and continue to use it: You don't need to discard anything that you want to keep using!

Due to its enormous output-performance, the ECoS Central Station is recommended especially also for operators of Gauge 1 or LGB layouts: At last you can run multiple trains without an external booster. Total interplay with our LokSound XL decoders is matter-offact.


ECoS leaves the factory with extensive features: Two Cabs with motorized throttle knobs and eight function keys each, plus a two-axis, center-click joystick each. With it, you can blow the whistle of the LokSound V3.5 decoder, analogically, almost as you would with the prototype, or, in the future, control digital cranes perfectly. The large, white background-illuminated liquid crystal display shows all information in plain words. There is a touch-sensitive screen that you can work either with your finger, or the provided peg. Each ECoS Command Station integrates a 4 Amp.- steady-output booster. Conventional model railroad transformers don't have enough power, which is why we supply you with a stabilized 90 VA (!) power supply. Power aplenty for your layout!

Decoder programming takes place via a dedicated programming track. This is independent of the mainline and normal operation on the layout is not affected during programming. ESU takes this for granted. The new ECoSlink high speed bus serves as communicator between systems. The bus can be connected to throttles, feedback devices, and other system components, that will be available in the future. ECoSlink is robust (up to 300 feet cable length is no problem) and extremely fast: Forget all others...

Each ECoS Command Station incorporates a galvanically isolated jack for s88 feedback modules. Track-occupancy information can be used for route - as well as shuttle train operation. An ECoSniffer jack is provided for connecting "old", existing Digital COmmand stations. A galvanically isolated jack for connecting DCC-conform or Märklin® 6015 / 6017 compatible boosters tops off the list of ECoS features.

Run a Loco

The ECoS Central Unit can manage up to 16384 Locos. Each Loco's characteristics are memorized, so in the future you can call each engine by name. Also you can assign a loco-symbol, and these symbols keep you abreast of the function of each loco, regardless of whether it's latching, or non-latching. An extensive navigational menu takes care of finding your Locos quickly; and running them.

Operate turnouts and magnetic accessories

Just like with locos, you can name turnouts and magnetic accessories. The large switching-panel on the screen of your ECoS shows you all turnouts and their switch-position. You can put turnouts in the depot area, and to each magnetic accessory you can assign its exact function, so you can tell simple-, double or 3-way turnouts apart from de-coupler tracks or streetlights, etc.


Several magnetic articles can easily be grouped as routes. Routes can then be switched like singular turnouts or they can be tied to an occupancy detector: Thus extensive block-control management is possible already. ECoS can manage up to 1024 routes with up to 256 magnetic accessories each.

Shuttle train control

Shuttle train control is a whole new function. Here you only need a (s88) occupancy detector at each end of the track, which you assign via Software to a loco: length of layover, acceleration - and deceleration, or inbetween stops can easily be programmed on the ECoS screen. This works with any decoder because the brain of the system sits in the central unit. Up to eight shuttle trains are possible.

Decoder programming

Thanks to the screen, programming decoders is as simple as never before. All parameters are shown in plain text. The search for - and of - CV's and bits and bytes is a thing of the past. Of course you can call up - and check - all features of your decoder (during operation on the layout) on the main. POM (programming on the main) makes it possible. The addresses of your old Motorola® decoders are ascertained automatically - never again do you have to take your engines apart and check the DIP switch...

Keep using old system

We make your transfer to ECoS as comfortable as possible: Simply keep also using your "old" system.

ECoS system overview

This is made possible through the built-in EcoSniffer module: The rail output of your present Digital command station is simply connected to the input of the EcoSniffer module. The module listens to all DCC and Motorola packets and translates them for the ECoS command station. This again treats your old system like one,- (or more) additional throttles or turnout-panels. Even those with more than one digital system find a solution: He or she can connect additional EcoSniffer modules to the EcoSlink bus and use any number of different systems together with ECoS. If that's not enough, go head and expand your layout.

Possibilities of Expansion

Mobile control

ECoS is well prepared for the application of our tetherless radio walk around control: A special receiver card fits into a module terminal, called EcoSlot. The mobile control integrates perfectly into the ECoSsystem and acts like a fully featured cable-bound throttle.


Of course all DCC conform boosters can be connected to the ECoS Central Station: There is a corresponding socket. Also, the widely known Märklin® 6015 / 6017 boosters (or compatible products) can be used. Alternatively, you can decide on the separately available ECoS booster, which connects directly to the EcoSlink: As a matter of fact, it incorporates a NMRA/DCC RailCom® detector, so you can use their great features.

NMRA/DCC Bidirectional communication

Any DCC compatible Central station, which will hit the market in 2006, should, of course be able to support the latest DCC expansions. That's why ECoS is already prepared for the coming NMRA/DCC Bidirectional standard: Once this standard is passed, a free software update will activate the already build-in feedback receiver. Apart from our ESU decoders, nothing else is needed to reach an unprecedented level of value.



All present central stations are conceptionally at least seven years old. Their mathematical capability and operational interface is simply not suitable to fulfill your (rightful) expectations, in regard to extend of functions and easy workability in today's world.

What's the PC-interface capable of? Will it be freely available?

The PC-interface can be used for Software updates for ECoS, and serves as connection to PC-operational programs. The interface will be made available to all interested software vendors.

Do I still need a LokProgrammer, if I own ECoS?

The programming of decoders with ECoS is about the same, as with the LokProgrammer: The graphic surfaces are similar. In a first step, you can change the CV values of all ESU-decoders. Later on, with the help of the ECoS Command Station, you will be able to perform sound updates for LokSound decoders.

What equipment is in the making for ECoSLink?

ESU will develop a comprehensive Digital system, of which ECoS is the center. Part of it will be tethered throttles, addon boosters, turnout switch-boards, and much more. Let us surprise you...

Can Loco symbols be changed?

Of course. As well as the loco symbol, the symbols for all function keys can be changed and mapped (which key for what function).

May I continue to use my present mobile control?

Yes. In fall 2006 there will be a software update for ECoS and your mobile control, so that the equipment continues to be compatible. All of this will be free of use and simple to realize. Your investment in a mobile control is protected.

ECOS Technical Specifications


* H4 booster with 4.0 A continuous-load output

* H4 programming track connection, 0.6 A rated

* NMRA DCC Bidirectional Feedback detector with integrated cutout


* 7 inch QVGA FSTN LCD display with touch screen and sextuple LED

backlight (white)

* 32-bit ARM 720T controller, 64 MByte flash ROM, 32 MByte RAM,

Linux operating system

* 16 bit real-time co-processor

* 2 motor driven potentiometer throttles with end stop

* 2 two way analog joysticks

* 2 8-function keys, plus stop - and go key

* 3 input sockets for ECoSlink systems

* Connection for ECoSlink Bus Expansion

* Galvanically isolated Booster input for External Boosters

* Galvanically isolated ECoSniffer input for connection of old units

* Galvanically isolated s88-Bus input for feedback devices

* 10/100 MBit Ethernet-connection (RJ 45)

* 1 ECoSlot module for radio-receiver input

* Power supply 90 VA


* DCC with 14, 28, 128 speed steps, LGB® MTS® compatible

function key handling

* Märklin® Motorola® old, new, with 14, 27 or 28 speed steps

Selectrix® track format

* Up to 9999 addresses for DCC protocol. Up to 20 function keys per

loco. Up to 255 addresses for Märklin® Motorola® protocol.

* Märklin® Motorola® and DCC track protocol for control of

electromagn. accessories.

* Up to 16384 locos, 2048 turnouts and 1024 route objectives

* 32 MU's (multiple consists) with up to 16 locos each

* Up to 8 shuttle trains (back'n forth) at the same time

* All DCC service modes programming on programming track, POM

(programming on the main)

* Programming of Motorola® - and Selectrix® decoders on

programming track

Included in delivery:

* ECoS Central Unit

* Stylus for touch screen

* Power supply 18V / 5.0 A (90 VA)

* Terminals for main track - and programming track connection, ECoSniffer

* Extensive instruction manual
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After reading that again, I don't think anything else comes close. Thats the one!
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A very nice system indeed. I added a photo taken in Nürnberg earlier this year.
Wow very nice. It looks even better than the pictures on their website. I really have to have one of these.
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Thanks Doug ... and the girl showing it to me was cute as well.
Price not finalized but don't expect it to be cheap. I would expect something like $500 - $700.

I have a lot of faith in ESU, they really seem to have the bit between their teeth. If only it supported Loconet.
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I have several issues with ESU, zero support for English speakers when I contacted them, zero support for loconet. Also for such an upmarket system I find it strange that the capacity is 4 amps. While the people with a smallish layout maybe satisfied with a centralised control unit, on larger layouts handhelds are essential. I dont doupt that this system will have handhelds in the future, where would something like this fit into my existing system. For this price I can buy a new laptop, block control units and run RR&Co and not be tied to ESU.
Other than that it looks to be a very good system.
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ESU already had a handheld - and a very good wireless one at that.

I think that there is a valid argument for separate Booster districts rather than one super-big command station powering the whole layout and tripping everything on it when one loco shorts. If that methodology is followed, then you don't need more that about 4 amps per district.
I wouldn't want more than 4 amps per district even if it was available. As far as the wireless handheld I am planning to pick one up regardless of whether I go with ECos or not. Their English support does need improvement but I will think that it will come as you see more and more loksound locomotives in the United States every month.
>How much?
South West Digital have it listed for £415.00 on the price list enclosed in the ESU brochures they were handing out last Saturday in Beer.


PS. If you think that £415 is rather a lot, you could always go for these cute earphones I just found in the news section of another site, oh and before you follow the link, be sure you are not in danger of falling off your perch. Those of a nervous disposition should stay away - Do you really /need/ these?
I don't understand what's going on between the UK and Germany but the price there is 414 - 480 euros.
This is the price quoted at the LokShop in Germany where I have purchased in the past. Must be some kind of tarif on Deutsche Modelleisenbahn in the UK.

Most of the other control centers such as Uhlenbrock, Fleischman, Piko and Marklin are in the 400-500 euro range with the Marklin Central Station, a direct competitor having a street price of 432 euros. The last time I checked £415 is around 606 euros so something is not quite cricket.
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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 13 Jun 2006, 18:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I don't understand what's going on between the UK and Germany but the price there is 414 - 480 euros.
This is the price quoted at the LokShop in Germany where I have purchased in the past. Must be some kind of tarif on Deutsche Modelleisenbahn in the UK.

I am aware of what maximum discounts are on offer to UK retailers from German manufactures. Working out the sums it means either :
1) Some German retailers are getting far more discount than UK ones (a level playing field would be nice !) or
2) These outlets are working on a margin of less than 5% !

Maybe this may explain something.

best regards
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There is probably a middle man somewhere that thinks he is due 30 or 40% for doing his thing. If I get one it will be from Lokshop. I buy from them all the time.
The price that has been set for the ECoS is not wildly different to the cost of buying a Lenz Set 100 + PSU + PC interface from a dealer in the UK but it has more potential and I think ESU have more momentum behind them than Lenz at the moment. I still haven't bought a DCC control unit although I had decided on Lenz and now I think I'll wait a bit longer and get the ECoS instead

Either way it seems the UK buyer who wants to buy local is getting the screw. My thinking is that it may be a combination of the German retailer may be working at a lower margin (more competition), and also buying at a better price. Makes it hard for a local hobby shop to sell German products in those circumstances.

In Germany the local hobby shops buy directly from the manufacturer but I know in the United States they often have to go through a wholesaler. Maybe this is the same in the UK and also why I was not able to understand the high prices you pay for Marklin as well.

What I don't understand is why is this so for the UK and not other European countries? The prices in Holland match those in Germany. Are they not also a member of the EU and isn't the UK just a train ride away now?

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all buy whatever product we wanted at the price the locals pay + shipping.
QUOTE (Dennis David @ 13 Jun 2006, 21:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Wouldn't it be nice if we could all buy whatever product we wanted at the price the locals pay + shipping.

Its called online commerce.

There are exceptions though. With price fixing in local markets and discounts for others. Take Lenz items (decoders and controllers). The cheapest place to buy (including shipping) is Tony's Train Exchange in the US... If anyone knows of a cheaper place then please let me know.
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>Its called online commerce.
Ok, so now explain Apple's pricing strategy for iTunes. The UK price is the highest from US, European and UK. Do bit transfers cost more in the UK? I don't think so, and no I don't own an iPod.

QUOTE Either way it seems the UK buyer who wants to buy local is getting the screw

I think one reason is because the DCC market in the UK is small compared with Germany and the USA. If a supplier is going to move less product it will cost more. DCC is not really in demand yet in the UK.

Another reason is that everything is expensive in the UK. Look at cars etc. It's not called "rip off Britain" for nothing. When I come back home on holiday and go to the shops I am gobsmacked at the prices of things. As a generalisation we pay in Aussie dollars what you pay in pounds for many things.

When you compare the Ecos price, 480 Euros for you and 418 for me vat free, it is not out of proprtion with similar products like the twin centre and the new Marklin/Trix systems. My main concern would be availability of good English instructions. Other than that this seems great. If you compare this system to the ZTC one which is more expensive this wins hands down.

I think for the UK modeller if you are going to buy anything digital, American or Continental buy it from it's source country. I can't believe the UK prices I see in the Continental modeller. I am astonished that anyone pays these, but they must do or they wouldn't be asking it.
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Doug & Dennis,

With respect my calculations were based on purchase from the manufacturer direct.

best regards

I get the feeling that there is all sorts of prices floating around and the possibility of UK retailers being charged higher prices wouldn't surprise me at all. I understood that Marklin and LGB have some tier pricing schemes based on your past selling of their product or at least that was what I was led to believe.
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